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Meeting, December 8, 2005

 

Meeting, December 8, 2005
Gallagher Business Building, Room 123

Approved 2/9/06

 

 

Members Present:
B. Allen, E. Ametsbichler, D. Beck, C. Bruneau, J. Campana, K. Canty, F. Cardozo-Pelaez, J. Carter, G. Cobbs, J. Crepeau, D. Dalenberg, S. Derry, A. Delaney, D. Doyle, W. Freimund, L. Frey, J. Gannon, S. Gaskill, F. Glass, L. Gillison, T. Herron, K. Hill,  W. Holben, C. Johnston, S. Justman, K. Kane, B. Knowles, M. Kupilik, B. Larson, C. Lawrence,  S. Li, J. Luckowski, D. McCrea, J. McNulty, V. Micheletto, M. Monsos, C. Nichols, D. Potts, E. Putnam, B. Reider, F. Rosenzweig, R. Skelton, G. Smith, J. Sommers-Flanagan, F. Snyder, A. Sondag, H. Thompson, A. Ware

Members Excused:
S. Brewer, M. DeGrandpre, P. Dietrich, S. Gordon, S. Greymorning, L. Knott, Y. Reimer, J. Sears, D. Schuldberg, P. Silverman, S. Stiff, M. Tonon, K. Unger, S. Yoshimura

Members Absent:

C. Hand, C. Knight, C. Loisel, D. Six

 

Ex-Officio Present:
Provost Muir,  Registrar Bain, Associate Provost Staub and Walker-Andrews

Call to Order:

Chair Crepeau called the meeting to order at 3:12 PM.
Registrar Bain called the role.

 

Chair Crepeau informed the Senate that there will be a change in the agenda.  UFA President Kupilik asked to be removed from the agenda and the New Business information item will be presented prior to committee reports to accommodate Professor Rosenberg's schedule. 

 

Communications:
Provost Muir
The Provost presented the amended graduation candidates lists for summer 2005 and candidate lists for fall 2005 (approved unanimously).

Academic Affairs is working on putting together proposals for the 2008-2009 biennium.   

 

Chair's Report:
Chair Crepeau provided a brief summary of Board of Regents Items. 

1.      Academic and Student Affairs Committee

§    System-wide Writing Proficiency Policy (see http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/ITEM129-109-R1105.htm and http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/ITEM129-109-R1105ATT.htm)
This policy incrementally raises various writing test scores required for admission to four-year degree programs in the Montana University System.

Fall 2007

Fall 2008

Fall 2009

ACT

5

6

7

SAT

5

6

7

MUS WA

2.5

3

3.5

AP

3

3

3


Senator Johnston asked about the maximums on the ACT.  Chair Crepeau will research the maximums and communicate these to the Senate in February.

Senator Fry asked whether there was any discussion about raising the required score on the AP exam.
Chair Crepeau responded that the policy dictates the minimums.  Departments may require higher scores for equivalents in their major.  He will look further into this matter.

§    MUS Transfer Information Website (see http://mus.montana.edu/transfer/index.htm)
The site is maintained by the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and brings together various information to assist students with the transfer process.

§    Level I Program Changes approved (see http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/LevelOneMemo11-05.pdf)

§    Textbook Cost-Draft Resolution by Roger Barber (see http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/TextbookResolution.pdf)
This continues to be an issue.  There was a communication from a representative from one of the large publishing houses at the meeting.

Chair Crepeau informed the Senate that Pearson Education is now offering alternative delivery formats and faculty should consult with their Library liaisons to get more information. http://www.pearsoned.com/solutions/pearsonchoices.htm

Senator Doyle asked who would pay for the copy put on reserve at the library.
Chair Crepeau responded that discussions of draft documents usually flush out financial implications so that these statements are not included in the final draft.

1.      Staff and Compensation Committee

§    Executive Compensation (see http://www.montana.edu/wwwbor/ITEM129-108-R1105FNLall.htm)
Amends ITEM 129-108-R1109 to set establish pay for the UM and MSU Presidents at 90% of the average regional presidential pay rather than 100%.

Chair Crepeau indicated that the deadline to submit nominations for the Faculty Service Award has been extended to December 16th.  Please submit materials to the Faculty Senate Office for consideration.

ECOS would like to get input from you and your constituents to assist in the review of Centers.  It is drafting a survey instrument in order to solicit information from faculty with direct experience with the Center.  ECOS wants to know how the Center is functioning in terms of faculty, students, and community needs related to the purpose outlined in Academic Policy 103.  Most likely the survey will be in an email communication to senators and department chairs with a request to be distributed to their colleagues.  The survey information will also be posted to the Faculty Senate Website. 

 

New Business -Center for Advanced Supramolecular and Nano Systems

Professor Rosenberg provided background to the proposal. The proposal is an attempt to bring engineering and science together involving both Montana Tech and The University of Montana and is supported by both the President and the Vice President of Research. He currently collaborates with the engineering faculty at Montana Tech in material science and would ultimately like to have a joint PhD program in Material Science.

Senator Gannon explained that ECOS was a bit mixed on how to present the proposal.  ECOS asked for clarification on several issues, met with the co-director, and the proposal was revised addressing some of the concerns.  ECOS reviewed the revised proposal and prepared the comments document for the Senate's consideration.  

 

  1. The Centers main objective is to initiate a long-term multidisciplinary program to continue existing and develop new activities involving supramolecular and nano systems.
  2. The center will be located at Montana Tech but will be developed and maintained in collaboration with The University of Montana main campus, in particular the UM Chemistry Dept.
  3.  The center authors have requested a ~$8M Federal Earmark to support the first three years.  The majority of the funds requested will be directed towards building infrastructure at Montana Tech (mostly lab equipment).
  4. ECOS has met with the Center co-director and expressed our initial concerns, the proposal was re-written in an effort to clarify the main items in which ECOS had concerns.
  5. From the final draft received by ECOS, the following strengths and concerns of the proposed Center have been identified:
    1. Strengths

                                                               i.      The center proposes to develop stronger research interactions between Montana Tech and the UM campus.  These interactions will include both faculty and students.

                                                             ii.      Nanotechnology based research in the State of Montana could use a co-coordinating center which may bring recognition in the field to the State.  While MSU has a Center for Bio-Inspired Nano-Materials, the focus is on BIOmaterials.  The CANSANS focus will be on more physical nanotechnology specifically green technology, composite materials, and actuators/sensors.

                                                            iii.      The proposed center has a substantial verbal commitment from local industries (11 companies) and if successful could spawn new businesses and products for the State.

                                                           iv.      The Center proposes to establish a K-12 outreach program which may attract students to the MSUS at a later date.  The Center also proposes to co-ordinate graduate coursework shared between the two campuses.

  1.  
    1. Concerns(Could be based on general faculty concerns with all Centers)
    • ASCRC, Chair Jean Luckowski
      The curriculum consent agenda was presented for consideration. 

      Senator Fry expressed concern about undergraduate students playing some type of roll in the classroom in ANTH UG 482 Preceptorship in Anthropology.  The system would be open for abuse and if the students tasks are just clerical than they should not be given academic credit.

      ASCRC Chair Luckowski explained that there was considerable discussion about this course in ASCRC.   Other departments such as Psychology and Sociology have had undergraduate preceptorship courses for some time and there are considerable safeguards and oversight.  The candidates are upper-level students that are screened and trained.  The experience is beneficial for mastering the material and can prepare students for graduate school.

      Senator Thompson commented that in the sciences there is a tradition of student involvement of this type in research courses. So it may be that in many disciplines this is normal practice but may seem odd to others.

      As author of the proposal, Senator Skelton provided some background.  The Anthropology department has 300 undergraduate students, 60 graduate students and 3 teaching assistants.  There is a tradition of mostly graduate students volunteering to help in undergraduate courses in order to get experience.  The issue is that when it is done on a volunteer basis there are no standards, so this is an attempt to implement standards, to centralize, organize and provide students with preparation.

      Senator Justman inquired about the course level where the students would be assigned.

      Senator Skelton responded 100/200 level courses.  He routinely teaches 180-250 students in Survey of Forensics, Intro to Physical Anthropology or Intro to Archeology.

      Senator Holben suggested that the department develop a set of requirements for the course, such as a minimum GPA; and add additional value in terms of assessment and evaluation of the student.

      Senator Glass commented that this would add more work for the faculty member and the course is designed to provide relief.

      It was asked whether Senator Fry was proposing a different standard for this department then Psychology or the FIG program that currently operate with preceptorships.

      Senator Fry suggests that the course be removed from the consent agenda and that ASCRC should review all existing preceptor courses and perhaps make recommendations for consistent standards. 

      Senator Justman commented that there seems to be enough graduate students to meet the needs in Anthropology.  He then motioned that ANTH UG 482 be removed from the consent agenda as well as a review conducted by ASCRC of all existing preceptorship or similar courses.

      Senator Carter indicated that the course must first be removed from the consent agenda and she corrected the motion.  The motion failed with a show of hands 11 in favor, 29 opposed.

      Senator Lawrence commented that the course seems like a practical solution to the larger problem of TA shortages.  At some point the Senate should have a broader discussion addressing this issue and recommend solutions.

      Senator Gillison agreed.  She is in a department that has no graduate students and she teaches a Mythology course with 220 students.  This is an issue across campus.  There needs to be a format to provide smaller discussion group experiences for large sections. 

      ASCRC Chair Luckowski indicated that ECOS charged ASCRC to investigate several issues this year and preceptorships can be added to the list. 

      Senator Bruneau asked whether there were any discussions with the Business School Advising Officer regarding the possible impact adding a prerequisite to ECON 112 Intro to Microeconomics would have on business students.  Also will this change impact when the course will be offered?

      Senator Dalenberg responded that the course is offered in multiple sections every semester.  The ASCRC subcommittee did address the issue and determined that availability would not be a problem.  

      The consent agenda was approved with Senator Fry and Justman dissenting.

      ASCRC Chair Luckowski presented the results of the Writing Committee's review of existing writing courses. Courses submitted for first time writing designation are not on the list.  The item was unanimously approved.
    • Graduate Council, Chair Neil Moisey
      The consent agenda was approved unanimously.
  2.                                                                i.      The plans for sustaining the center in years 1-3 is from the requested federal earmark.  The likelihood of receiving this type of money is low, yet the center will go forward anyway (how will they accomplish the major objectives without developing the Montana Tech infrastructure that the funds will provide)?

    Professor Rosenberg responded that the earmark is still a possibility but is not the only way to fund the Center.  There are program grants in NSF, DOD, and USDA that target materials and this type of research in nonotechnology.  The grant proposals are greatly strengthened if the Center is approved.  The Federal earmark would establish the Center all at once, but there is the possibility of an incremental approach with funding from other sources.

                                                                 ii.      The plans for sustaining the center after the first 3 years is based on indirect cost returns (IDC's) from grants authored through the center and potential pay-per-use fees obtained from companies using center equipment.  The cost for salaries, equipment maintenance, and other center expenses are substantial and IDC's and equipment usage fees are not likely to cover these in the near future.  In addition, most of the Center users are faculty who have a home department which may not appreciate IDC's going to a center rather than back to the home department.

    Professor Rosenberg responded that salaries for directors and administrative staff are in the program project grants.  The IDC's and the fee for service payment would help fund the Center, but would not be the primary source of funding.  If the Center is not externally funded it will not be established.  The purpose of the proposal is too put in place a plan.

     

                                                                iii.      The primary graduate education component of the proposed center is envisioned as a Material Science and Engineering IIP (traditional degrees housed in various departments are also considered).  There is some reluctance to expand the IIP degree given the concerns that have surfaced about the quality of the program in general: lack of rigor, lack of oversight by any departmental structure and by the Graduate Council committee who is not adequately informed about the progress of the students, in some cases failure to put in place comprehensive exams.  In addition there is concern about online courses, course work credited before admission is approved.  The IIP related problems identified above would be exacerbated when students have to work between two campuses 120 miles apart.

    The ultimate goal is a PhD program with defined requirements. The IIP program would be used initially during the transitional development phase.  An alternative would be to have students in a traditional program assigned work through the Center.

    Questions:

    Senator Glass asked whether the money would go towards a new building.

    Professor Rosenberg responded that the money is primarily for equipment.  Apparently Montana Tech has the room.  Some of the instrumentation would be on this campus.

    Senator Johnston commented that an example of a graduate program that has a multi-campus approach is working in the NIH -Cobra Center for Structural and Functional Neuroscience where students at Montana State, Alaska, and UM are taking courses at the same time using grid technology and it is working.

    Linda Frey asked how many faculty at Montana Tech have the credentials to train a PhD student.

    Professor Rosenberg is aware of 9 involved with the proposal.

    Senator Putnam asked whether the PhD students would be Montana Tech or UM students and which institution would grant their degree.

    Professor Rosenberg responded that in the past the degree usually gets credited to the research advisor's department.  Montana Tech does not have the prerogative to give PhD's without UM's cooperation and co-participation. The student's degree would be from UM as would their transcript.  There are currently at least three interdisciplinary PhD programs that are between different departments or schools at UM. 

     

    Senator Johnston asked whether the revised proposal will make it clear that without the funding the Center will not be implemented.

    Professor Rosenberg confirmed.

     

     

    Committee Reports:

    Good and Welfare:

    Senator Carter commented that the discussion format for the proposed Center worked well.

    The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 PM.

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    Senator Silverman suggests that the purpose of retention be considered.  It is primarily financial and not particularly important academically.  One of the key purposes for students at the traditional age is to explore.  He would argue that 60 credits is the appropriate guideline.

    Associate Provost Walker-Andrews commented that for every extra year a student is in school he or she is accumulating a larger debt.  The issue is not just a financial concern for the University.  It some since the University would lose money if students actually graduate in four years.

    Senator Frey remarked that the declaration of a major is an academic benefit.  Students benefit by being connected in a program earlier.  It might concentrate students mind to require a declaration.

    Senator Luckowski is in favor of the motion.  She was persuaded that encouraging students to make choice sooner is beneficial because they would borrow less money.  Students' debt load is almost an ethical issue.  However there is an argument on the other side that it could take longer to graduate if students change their major.

    The question was called by Senator Dietrich and passed unanimously

    The motion was approved with 23 in favor and 15 apposed.

    Good and Welfare:
    Senator Justman is concerned about student debt loads.  A considerable number of students are paying tuition on credit cards.

    Registrar Bain indicated that a lot of students' parents pay on credit cards because of the convenience. 

    Senator Ametsbichler announced that the Graduate Student and Faculty Research Conference is coming up on April 8th in the University Center.  She encourages faculty participation.  The details are on the website at: http://www.umt.edu/gradfacconf/

    The meeting was adjourned at 4:55 PM.